Atlanta father trapped in Italy after contracting the swine flu

ATLANTA — An Atlanta man celebrating his 25th wedding anniversary is trapped overseas after coming down with the swine flu.

Stan Thomas and his wife were in Florence, Italy, when Thomas became ill and was taken to a hospital.

His doctors said Thomas developed pneumonia caused by H1N1, also known as the swine flu.Thomas was on a ventilator in a Florence hospital for the past two weeks and had to have a tracheotomy Monday morning.

"The outpouring of love and support from our friends and family worldwide has been very comforting for me," said Stan's wife, Robin. "It’s what gets me through the day sitting here watching him."


His family told Channel 2's Richard Elliot that Italian doctors have recommended he be airlifted back to Atlanta, but his insurance won't pay for it.

The Thomas family lives in Los Angeles but are from Atlanta. Doctors at both Emory and Piedmont previously treated Stan Thomas' cancer. Family members say they want him to come back, but Robin Thomas says her two insurers won't pay for the medical transport because they think he's getting adequate care in Italy.

Elliot reached out to the insurers, but hasn't heard back because of Memorial Day.

Stan's twin brother Steve set up a GoFundMe page to help pay for some of the approximately $100,000 the flight might cost.